"The Man From U.N.C.L.E" is a remake of a popular television show from the 1960s which puts an American and a Russian agent together during the Cold War to stop a possible nuclear attack. There wasn't a ton of advertising for this film prior to its release, which left me unaware of the type of ton the film would present. But "UNCLE" ends up being a hilarious spy thriller, and a worthy last-minute addition to the summer line-up.
What really makes this comedic spy film work is, well, the comedy. Cavil and Hammer play off of each other really well and to great effect. Cavil portrays the stuck-up, classy American image of the 60s, while Hammer shows a character who fights for honor and pride, which allows for interesting conflict between the two agents, amongst their great chemistry. Alicia Vikander adds to this as the neutral ground between the two, and offers some romantic tension between herself and Hammer, who struggles to bring down guard. The trio remain together for most of the film and really make it work nicely, as there is no love-triangle type of situation which envelopes.
What really makes this film work, however, is that it knows what it is from the very beginning and never takes itself too seriously. Had it attempted to be as edgy and serious as something like "Mission: Impossible," or "Skyfall," this formula would have failed outright. The actors are able to be extremely subtle with their delivery of the jokes that, while it seems as if they are not trying to get a laugh, the passive-aggressive way they might say an insult to one another had the audience laughing multiple times.
While the plot itself is one which we have seen before, it progresses through it in a way which felt fresh and new, at least for me. It was a nice change of pace from the predictable storylines which seem to fill the screens more often than not.
This is ultimately a very simple film, thus the shorter review. Two spies must work together to overcome a greater evil than each other. But it's delivered in such a way that I was never truly bored with the film. It slows down a touch mid-way somewhere, but it's hardly a noticeable change. Seeing Cavil and Hammer's relationship evolve from bickering rivals to respected partners is nice to see, as their jokes slowly move from each other to those they are fighting, while consistently trying to one-up each other whenever possible. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." is a very fun film to watch and definitely one I was not expecting to enjoy as much as I did.
But those are my thoughts. Let me know yours in the comments below!
Check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp-7v3h4ojI